The bureaucrats in Beijing and the businessmen in Shanghai have been busy in recent weeks, negotiating a series of headline deals that sync into broader themes of Chinese access to global energy and commodities markets.

Bankers at Wall Street and City of London banks have spent much of the past week telling financial reporters that the impending sale of the remaining 80% of the Asian arm of French bank Credit Agricole represented an old finance industry meme: an out-of-towner overpaying for access to the premier league of global banking. Keep reading →